I was waiting in the Mongkok MTR station for a friend yesterday. My friend was late (as is her habit, grrrrrrr), so I was there for some time. Standing beside me for much of that time was an attractive young woman. I wondered whether she was waiting for her boyfriend. Her style—long dyed-blonde hair tied in a ponytail, tight tight jeans, spotless white sneakers and a cropped t-shirt that showed off her slim tummy—was a bit too MK for my liking, but we were in Mongkok, so….
I was glancing (not staring!) at her, when I noticed her expression light up suddenly. She had obviously just spotted the person she had been waiting for. She had already been waiting for about fifteen minutes, but didn’t look annoyed or impatient at all; her expression was one of pure joy.
Being a ‘ba-gwa’ guy, I was curious about what kind of man had so completely captured her heart and could bring her so much happiness. That must be true love, I thought. I followed her gaze, searching for the target of her affection.
Oh…it wasn’t a guy at all. It was a middle-aged woman carrying a big plastic bag. The woman reminded me of the music teacher at the school where I work—well, the worn-out-and-frazzled-at-the-end-of-a-school-year version of that teacher.
Ah, was it the young woman’s mother? “Isn’t is great that she loves her mother so much and isn’t afraid to show her affection?” I thought.
I scolded myself for having been so narrow-minded before. True love isn’t necessarily romantic, right? What can be greater than the love between a mother and daughter?
When the two women met, however, barely a word was exchanged. I wondered why they didn’t greet each other more warmly.
The woman-who-looked-like-a-frazzled-music-teacher placed her plastic bag on the station floor, reached into it and took out a cardboard box, which she then passed to the young woman, who had been hovering next to her. The box was a shoe box. The black lettering on the side: Reebok Classic. Inside the bag were two other identical shoe boxes.
The young woman could barely contain her excitement as she took the shoe box with both hands and slowly opened it. Her eyes lit up and she flashed a broad smile as she gazed lovingly at the new white sneakers in the box.
A look of true love.
She closed the box gently, cradled it tenderly in her arms, nodded at the shoe-delivery-woman-who-looked-like-a-music-teacher and walked away smiling happily, the extra bounce in her step sending her blonde ponytail swinging to and fro.
~by longzijun (2015)
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